In Creative Family Home, Ashlyn Gibson explores the heart and soul of twelve specially photographed homes that capture the zeitgeist in family living and celebrate the magic of childhood. Whether you have just started a family or have a tribe of pre-teens, the book explores both practical and decorative angles. Discussion with the author and peek into this beautiful book.

The book starts with Creative Family Style, focusing on the varying demands of family living. There are ideas for using your space imaginatively, practical storage solutions, and using colour and pattern. There are also suggestions for hardworking homework and displaying collections and other special treasures.
Creative Family Home

Next, Ashlyn visits real-life homes in London, Holland, Germany and Spain that are notable for their fresh, irreverent take on day-to-day family living, and draws inspiration from their different approaches to family life.

Creative Family Home celebrates the modern family, where children, from babies to teenagers, are given the freedom to express themselves and to develop their individuality within the context of an imaginative and creative family home.

What gave you the idea for the concept of the book?

Original thinkers and original ideas inspire me in a way that nothing else does and the creative family is a subject very close to my own heart. My interest and curiosity in the modern family has developed as I have watched my daughter grow up over the last ten years. I am interested in what shapes children’s worlds and how we can empower our children to celebrate their individuality and to explore their own creativity. Everything starts at home so I thought it would be an incredible project to look at the environment in which children, lucky enough to be encouraged to walk their own path, are living. And to share that with readers in an honest and authentic way that is inspirational rather than aspirational.

Creative Family Home

Can you explain why you wanted to be inspirational rather than aspirational?

It is wonderful to dream but I think there is a danger within the publishing and advertising world of promoting ideas that are unobtainable. If something is too aspirational, how can it be enriching? I wanted to write about family homes that capture the zeitgeist in family living. Homes that come at childhood from a creative angle and that create an inspiring environment to grow up in.

How is it different from other family style books?

A home is made up of the people who live there so I wanted to look beyond the surface – I wasn’t as interested in what people’s jobs were but rather how they interact and live with their children. The book hinges on the honest, entertaining and revealing quotes from children about the homes they are growing up in.

Creative Family Home

Have you always wanted to write a book?

I can remember going to children’s Puffin Club events in London in the 70s and being in awe of authors. Writing a book has been bobbing around at top of my “to do” list for a very long time.

What was one of your favourite moments when you were working on the book?

I loved meeting the kids and hearing their ideas and views on their own homes.

How long did the process take?

We started shooting in November and I finished writing all of the copy in April. It was intense but I wanted to immerse myself fully in the project.

Creative Family Home

What’s next?

There is a party to organise to celebrate the publication of my debut book and we have just moved into an ex-industrial building so there is a whole new creative family home to pull together with my daughter Olive and my partner Matthew. I am developing my children’s concept store Olive Loves Alfie with our own label clothing collection. And I am about to start shooting kids fashion editorials for SS14. I love working on collaborations so I am always happy to consider interesting projects.

Where can we follow you?

You can follow my daily inspiration and my new projects and

And my store and

Creative Family Home


About The Author

Ashlyn Gibson is a designer, stylist and writer as well as the founder of the award- winning family lifestyle store Olive Loves Alfie. Having studied at the prestigious Cordwainers College in London, Ashlyn became Head of Creative for Red or Dead footwear before founding Olive Loves Alfie. She is now a proud shop owner as well as a sought-after stylist. Her recent collaborations include a range of eco- friendly paint, a children’s footwear collection, children’s illustrations and the creation of the Olive Loves Alfie clothing label. Ashlyn lives and works in East London with her theatre director partner, her daughter Olive and their cat Tigwani.

Creative Family Home by Ashlyn Gibson (Photography by Rachel Whiting) is published by Ryland Peters & Small and is available from